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Well, I have finally checked out Maxivista. My thoughts? Well, to echo Scott Hanselman, “freakin' brilliant!”. Short of having a monitor running directly off a card in your PC, this is one of the best solutions I have seen out there for multi-monitor support. What makes this most special in my opinion is that you can use your laptop monitor as another display on your primary machine.

In my home office now, I am using my Tablet PC monitor as a second display on my primary development box. And it friggin' rocks! The solution is all software based. You have a server app running on your primary machine and then have a viewer app running on your laptop/machine whose monitor will be used as a secondary (or tertiary for that matter) display. However, even though it is a software-based solution, the extra display actually shows up directly in Windows as another display device. So, to configure your extra monitor support, you can just use Windows' display properties since the extra display shows at the Windows level.

The one set back to this configuration is that the extra display is displayed to over the network. Because of this, there is some lag. If you are used to using Remote Desktop, the performance is comparable to using Remote Desktop over the LAN (although in retrospect, the performance might actually be more performant than Remote Desktop).

Now I just have some experiments in mind to stretch this software. The truly beautiful part (that I can't stress enough, obviously) is that the extra display shows up as an extra display directly in Windows. So, since I am getting into game development, I have thoughts in the back of my mind of using this extra display as an eXtreme Debugging terminal in my games. Why can't I? Windows detects it as a normal display, so I imagine DirectX will do the same. Man, I can't wait to see if that works. However, even if that doesn't work (which is pretty extreme), this software will be used a LOT by me anyways.

If I could invent an imaginary scale to use in which to “rate“ this product, I would probably invent some sort of scale that rates products on a scale from roughly 1 to roughly 5 (meaning roughly Crap, and roughly Da Bomb, respectively). Now, if I did invent this so-called measurement system, I would probably need a “unit“ of measurement in which the roughly 1 and roughly 5 would relate to. And since I'm a rotund person of extra-roundness stature, I declare that this imaginary unit of measurement would be, let's say, oh, a slice of pizza. With that said, if for some odd reason I were to invent this supposed “scale“ of quality measurement, then Maxivista would most definitely get a rating of roughly 5 slices of pizza. Yup, that's it, roughly 5 slices of pizza.

This software is such a total dream come true for users out there with chained-up displays floating around that they wish they could use with their primary machine (darn laptops!). Dream no longer my friends! The answer is here, and it is the software entity known as Maxivista.

Posted on Thursday, October 7, 2004 2:47 PM | Back to top

Comments on this post: Maxivista - Roughly 5/5 Slices of Pizza

# re: Maxivista - Roughly 5/5 Slices of Pizza
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Did you try running some DirectX stuff over the link - I've not seen any remote desktop type stuff that works well with anything graphics intensive - most of the apps are bandwidth crippled with pushing textures to the card so I can't imagine pushing textures over a network will speed things up. Of course running your game on your main screen and the debugger on the other screen should be possible.
Left by ZMan on Oct 07, 2004 4:18 PM

# re: Maxivista - Roughly 5/5 Slices of Pizza
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Pretty cool. I just bought a copy and it works smooth. Even video playback...

Thanks for letting us know.

Left by Jim on Oct 08, 2004 4:56 AM

# re: Maxivista - Roughly 5/5 Slices of Pizza
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For the record, the second comment above is from me, not ZMan. Boy I can be a dunce sometimes :P.
Left by Jason Olson on Oct 08, 2004 5:53 PM

# re: Maxivista - Roughly 5/5 Slices of Pizza
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No problemo. Glad that I could be of at least some service :).
Left by Jason Olson on Oct 08, 2004 5:54 PM

# re: Maxivista - Roughly 5/5 Slices of Pizza
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Looks really, greally great! I've often wished that notebooks had a "monitor mode" so you could just power on the built in display by itself and plug another computer into it.
Left by Chris Lundie on Oct 10, 2004 4:21 AM

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